15 April 2022

Reading response to late Sheffield United leveller thrills manager Paul Ince

15 April 2022

Reading manager Paul Ince praised his team’s togetherness and spirit following their 2-1 victory against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

A dramatic late winner from Tom McIntyre sealed all three points for Ince’s relegation-battling side.

Promotion-chasing Sheffield United thought they had rescued a point in the 90th minute when substitute Iliman Ndiaye cancelled out Lucas Joao’s first-half opener.

But McIntyre struck to move the Royals nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Ince said: “It was a fantastic performance from the boys. Since I have come here, they have been progressing and getting better. It was the best I have seen them play under me.

“When we won the ball we cut them apart, nice precise quick passing.

“It was a proper, proper team and that’s what you need when you’re playing in the Championship, against these top teams. And Sheffield United are a top team.

“I must say (the win was) thoroughly deserved. We had so many chances, two or three great chances in the first half.

“I thought we deserved to be rewarded with one, two or three more goals.

“It’s a tough place and to respond the way we did after conceding that late goal shows everything about this team.

“They have got togetherness and spirit amongst them now. And to go and grab that winner shows everything you need to know about this team.”

Sheffield United remain in the top six, but have four teams within three points of them in the battle for a play-off place.

Boss Paul Heckingbottom said: “You look at where we are now, we have got four games left. It’s turned into a sprint.

“The games are going to get tighter, nervier and more important than that one.

“The big takeaway message is that we need to make better decisions. I thought the emotion of scoring and the stadium erupting affected our next two minutes.

“Although we did have young players on the pitch who maybe made mistakes in that moment, we had more than enough experience to get set up properly and deal with the threat.

“The first few minutes we started well. We were under no illusions how tough the game was going to be.

“The game didn’t surprise us one bit, they were going to be tough to break down, they would be a threat on the counter. When you go behind to a team with that style of play, it is set up perfectly for them.”

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